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Invasive Species Member - Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

American Conservation Experience in partnership with US Fish & Wildlife Service

Randlett, Utah

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details $600/week

Invasive Species Member - Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Summary:American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking 1 Member to contribute to invasive species mapping and management alongside FWS Staff.

For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org

Start Date: May 2024

Estimated End Date: November 2024

*a 25-week minimum commitment is required with potential for extension depending on funding availability*

Location Details/Description: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge - Brigham City, UT

Established in 1928 by Congress (Public Law 304) and the initial boundaries designated by Presidential Proclamation (2011) in 1932, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge was one of the first refuges to join a system of lands now encompassing over 560 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System - a network of lands set aside and managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service specifically for wildlife. The Refuge and other wetlands associated with the Great Salt Lake provide critical habitat for migrating birds, over 250 species moving through this area annually by the millions to rest and feed. As part of the Bear River Bay, the Refuge is designated as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site, a globally important shorebird area.

The Refuge lies along the eastern edge of the Pacific Flyway and the western edge of the Central Flyway, making it an important resting, feeding, and nesting area for birds in both flyways. Of more than 250 bird species that use the refuge, at least 67 species nest on the Refuge. American avocets and black-necked stilts nest by the thousands along Refuge dikes and roads. White-faced ibis nest in dense emergent vegetation in large colonies of up to 10,000 birds. Migrant tundra swans can number in the tens of thousands in the spring and fall. The Refuge uses a complex system of dikes and water control structures to provide different water depths for a variety of waterbird species over the seasons.

On the ancestral homelands of the Shoshone, Paiute, Bannock, and Ute people known as the Newe or Meme (the People), the Refuge lands and waters support diverse plant and animal species in a mosaic of mudflats, river deltas, brackish and freshwater marshes, temporary ponds, and uplands. Refuge uplands have scattered knolls that form a unique ecological community in the Bear River delta.

Today, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge contains nearly 80,000 acres of marsh, open water, uplands, and alkali mudflats. The marshes and open water are managed using a complex system of dikes and water control structures to provide a variety of water depths suitable for the needs of different waterbird species. The Refuge is an excellent place to observe wildlife along a 12-mile auto tour route, as well as enjoy hunting, fishing, and wildlife photography.

For more information about the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/bear-river-migratory-bird

Position Overview: The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. This position will help FWS realize that mission at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

The Member on this project will primarily be focused on managing a habitat restoration/invasive species project at the Refuge Visitor Center Wetland, Trail, and Nature Explorer areas. Duties will include mapping and treatment of invasive species, native planting/seeding, and water monitoring and management. The Member will be supervised by Refuge staff and will be utilizing a multi-year adaptive restoration plan to restore open water habitat in the wetlands, and maintain desired emergent vegetation levels, including control of highly invasive phragmites. This project is a focal point of the Refuge and a priority for the Biology and Visitor Services Programs.

The Member will be required to work independently but will have ongoing support and supervision from Refuge staff throughout the project. Additionally, the Member will receive cross-training and valuable experience completing tasks in other Refuge Programs including biological monitoring, visitor outreach and education, and facilities and equipment upkeep as related to core position functions.

Training and Duties will include:

  • Mechanical and herbicidal treatment of invasive species.
  • Restoration seeding, planting, and monitoring.
  • Collecting mapping and treatment data using ArcGIS Online and associated field applications.
  • Reporting and regular communication with supervisor on project progress.
  • Basic field equipment operation (ATV/UTV, Herbicide Application, small heavy equipment, hand/field tools, etc.).
  • Participation in Refuge monitoring programs (e.g., invasive species mapping and treatment, habitat restoration projects, avian surveys, grazing monitoring, etc.).
  • Working with Refuge partners and complex staff at Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge.

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promote exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.

Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday - Friday. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. A flexible work schedule may be required, which could involve work performed outside of normal work hours including on weekends and/or holidays. Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.

Position Benefits

  • Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $600/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.
  • AmeriCorps Education Award Program: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award while serving under the EAP 2023/24 grant year program, valued up to $3,447.50 upon successful completion of a complete service term and 900 service hours.
  • Loan Forbearance: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for federal loan forbearance. Additional enrollment steps are required.
  • Qualifying Child Care Coverage: AmeriCorps members may also be eligible for qualifying child care coverage. Additional enrollment steps are required.
  • Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.
  • Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided FWS housing at no cost for the duration of the term.
  • Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position-specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support. Specific training may include proper herbicide mixing, specific use, and application.
  • Gear Reimbursement: The ACE member will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases (boots, pants, sun protection, etc). Eligible gear for this position must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase.
  • Grant Funding Opportunity: The selected candidate(s) for this position will be eligible to apply for ACE's Access and Inclusion Grant. This is a $500 grant which is intended to make participation in ACE positions more accessible to individuals who are underrepresented in the conservation field. Grant recipients will be able to allocate this funding to financial need(s) of their choosing. A limited number of grants are available.

Qualifications

Required:

  • Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass the required three-part criminal history check.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning-of-term feedback forms, end-of-term evaluations, and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation.
  • Member may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement or as defined by AmeriCorps.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website: https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.

Preferred:

  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a Bachelor's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject.
  • Knowledge of plant species and how to identify and differentiate plants.
  • Ability and willingness to conduct field work with others and learn new skills
  • Deep interest in biology, ecology, habitat restoration and wildlife conservation.

Physical Demands, Work Environment, and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talking, and hearing. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and endure hot summer temperatures under field conditions.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral, and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 15 lbs., ability to move up to 40 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor field conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools.
  • Travel: This position does not require unique travel.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the FWS or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the FWS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the FWS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification, and safety protocols is required.

HOW TO APPLY

To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC FWS Program Manager, Nich Jackosky at njackosky@usaconservation.org.

EEO: Employment with ACE is based upon ability, qualifications, attitude, and job-related factors. Every qualified employee or applicant has the same opportunity for recruitment, hire, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, demotion, termination, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information (including of a family member), veteran or military status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition, marital or parental status, political affiliation, ethnicity, hair texture or style, arrest record, caste, hereditary status, endogamy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Botany , Restoration
Tags GIS